December 08, 2008

Christmas by Candlelight Tour of Homes, presented by the Natchitoches Historic Foundation

Since its beginning in 1927, the Festival of Lights has grown into Louisiana’s premier community based Yule time celebration and is one of the oldest celebrations in the United States.

During the holiday season Natchitoches has much more to offer than 300,000 Christmas lights and over 100 displays. In addition, the Natchitoches Historic Foundation will present its annual Christmas by Candlelight Holiday Tour of Homes during the 2nd and 3rd weeks in December.

Homes featured on the tour this Festival season include Samuel Guy, Rusca House, Violet Hill, Nakatosh Condos, Cypress Place, Poete Street Condos, Two Goose, Green Gables, Tante Huppe and Secret Garden.

The schedule for the homes is as listed:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 5 – 8 p.m.:
Samuel Guy, Violet Hill and Two Goose

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 from 5 – 8 p.m.:
Rusca House, Violet Hill and Two Goose

Friday, December 12 and 19, 2008 from 5 – 8 p.m.:
Nakatosh Condos, Cypress Place and Poete Street Condos

Saturday, December 13 and 20, 2008 from 1 - 4 p.m.:
Green Gables, Tante Huppe and Secret Garden

Built in 1850 by Samuel Eldridge Guy, the Samuel Guy House, 309 Pine Street, was the centerpiece of a working plantation. The house remained in the Guy family for 150 years prior to being moved by its current owners from Mansfield to Natchitoches in 2002. The house is two stories and is of Greek Revival architecture. It contains such features as an ornate, oversized front entrance, Greek temple dormers and a symmetrical floor plan featuring a central hallway flanked by two rooms on both sides. The house operates as a bed and breakfast.

Violet Hill located at 917 Washington Street was built between 1880 and 1890 and owned by Genoe heirs. Violet Hill, also known to locals as the Lawton/Poleman/Gibson home, has served as home to Natchitoches Ice Company, Ltd., and the Cottage Sanitarium. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was recently renovated and operates as a bed and breakfast. The property can be viewed on the web at

Inspired by a house that was featured in the February 1949 issue of House and Garden Magazine, Two Goose was constructed for Alvin and Annette DeBlieux. Due to the length of time to construct this charming house on Cane River, local residents commented that it took so long for the house to be built, that the geese had flown over it twice, thus providing the house’s name. The DeBlieux family resided there until 1971 and the house was rented for a decade. The house is located at 416 Williams Avenue, and was purchased by the present owners in 1981 who lovingly restored it.

The Rusca House is a California Bungalow style home which was built in 1920 by Joseph "J.D." Rusca and Pearl Kyle Rusca. The Rusca's raised their four children in the home and resided in the home until J.D. Rusca's death in 1968. The Rusca House was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Sylvian LeVasseur, Sr. in the 1970s and was purchased from the LeVasseur family by its present owners in 1999. The Rusca House has been totally refurbished to its original beauty. The property is located at 124 rue Poete and operates as a bed and breakfast. Visit

The Nakatosh Condos are located on the corner of Church and Front Street was once the site for the LeCompte Creole Townhouse, the largest and most opulent townhouse in Natchitoches. It was built in 1822 by Ambrose LeCompte, who also owned Magnolia Plantation on lower Cane River. The townhouse was demolished circa 1888 in order to build the Nakatosh Hotel, which thrived until the 1950s. The hotel remained closed for over thirty years until it was recently converted into condominiums, which overlook downtown and Cane River.

Built in 1908, Cypress Place is a two-story Victorian home that features a raised porch, high ceilings and Victorian furnishings. The front parlor is original and includes wood walls and a patched wood ceiling. The parlor contains French and English antiques. Located at 146 rue Cypress.

Built in 1890’s by Estelle Ducourneau Plôchè as a wedding gift for her niece, Green Gables is a one-story Victorian house that includes a wraparound front gallery, ornate fireplaces and stained glass windows. The décor includes original art and eclectic antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. This house, located at 201 rue Pine, operates as a bed and breakfast. Visit

Miss Julie Prudhomme opened the doors of her home, later named Tante Huppe, to visitors participating in the first tour of homes in 1955. This historic townhouse was built between 1827 and 1853. The old slave quarters at the rear of the house have an unusual winding staircase associated with European Creole families. This house operates as a bed and breakfast and is located at 424 Jefferson Street. Visit

As the last surviving hand crafted Dutch Colonial residence in northwest Louisiana, this 1924 cottage has been restored by local artisans. Over 10,000 square feet, it features hidden rooms, secret spaces and beautiful stairways. Family antique furnishings from area plantations and original art found during the seven-year restoration make for a memorable holiday experience. Open to the public for the first time in 84 years, each room contains a Christmas tree and decorations that feature different themes. This property is located at 330 Williams Avenue.

Over 500,000 visitors flock to this charming historic town during the holiday season.

For more information on the Holiday Tour of Homes or for a complete schedule of homes, visit the Natchitoches Historic Foundation online at For more information on the weekend’s events, contact the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 259-1714 or online at

Source: Latisha McDaniel, Media & Public Relations, Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau